Queen Mary, University of London is keeping the Olympic and Paralympic legacy alive with the launch of a support programme for Tower Hamlets’ most talented young athletes.
Queen Mary Students’ Union (QMSU) has teamed up with the university’s Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine and the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) to run the ‘Team Tower Hamlets’ scheme for 16-25 year old athletes. The programme will provide young athletes with access to specialist staff and facilities for training, fitness testing, and sports medicine support, as well as workshops on sport psychology and sports nutrition.
Under their established annual award scheme, the GLL Sport Foundation has offered places on the programme to young people living, studying or training in Tower Hamlets, who may not previously have had access to sport science support.
Athletes on this year's scheme compete in a range of sports, including karate, weightlifting, deaf athletics, wheelchair basketball, judo and sailing.
Services will be coordinated by QMSU in partnership with GSF, with athletes invited to weekly strength and conditioning sessions at Qmotion, the university’s sport and fitness centre in Mile End. Supervised by UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) accredited coaches, the athletes will be given personalised training plans that will develop the physical qualities required for safe and effective sports performance.
Sports nutrition workshops will educate athletes and their parents about the importance of diet and how it impacts performance, while sport psychology workshops will equip them with the tools needed to cope with the demands of training and competition.
Staff and students from the Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine - a unique clinical and academic centre based at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary – will provide sports medicine support as well as access to the QM Human Performance Lab for biomechanical and physiological testing. Funding for the project has been provided to the Centre by the Barts Charity.
QMSU Fitness Manager Mark Morrison comments: “There are many young people in Tower Hamlets showing great potential. They’re determined, focused and train hard, but they don’t always have access to the specialist coaches or facilities that they need to succeed at an elite level.
“Combining the expertise of Queen Mary’s staff and students, QMSU’s training support and fantastic fitness facilities and the strong established community links and programmes run by GLL, we can help local sportspeople replicate the success of Britain’s London 2012 athletes.”
GSF Chair Peter Bundey explains: “We are delighted with this partnership and believe that these young Tower Hamlets athletes will significantly benefit from the bespoke sport science programme.
“This programme widens the impact the Foundation is having on athletes’ complete development whilst working with an elite sport science partner, and it is a partnership we are looking to expand in the future.”
Twelve athletes have been chosen for the pilot one-year programme, which would continue for a further year and expand to include 24 participants if successful.
For full information on the GLL Sport Foundation go to – www.gllsportfoundation.org
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